Friday, March 21, 2014

Night of Household Items #4:
"Makes your toilet paper sing!"

Sorry.

I know. I know. I don't have to share everything I come across.

Here, straight from an estate sale and headed right for the trash can after I finish this post, is a jaw-dropping product called "Toity Tunes."

You see, it makes your toilet paper sing. Because that's just what you need when you're on the commode.

The 1¾-inch-wide piece of musical plastic was made in Hong Kong and custom manufactured for McManus Associates of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. This one offers over 1,000 replays of "Home! Sweet Home!"

If that ditty didn't suit your lavatory needs, the back of the packaging indicates that many other Toity Tunes were available, including:
  • "Happy Birthday"
  • "My Favorite Things"
  • "Love Me Tender"
  • "Yesterday"
  • "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
  • "Over the Rainbow"
  • "You Are My Sunshine"

As far as what any of those songs have to do with going potty, your guess is as good as mine. Also, I'm curious as to whether all of those Toity Tunes were properly licensed. Somehow, I don't imagine The Beatles agreeing to this.

Toity Tunes' greatest moment of fame might have come in the 1997 book Managing to Have Fun: How Fun at Work Can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers, and Boost Your Bottom Line. Here's the relevant excerpt:
Playfair's Ritch Davidson discovered miniaturized music makers called "Toity Tunes" that he placed inside the toilet paper rolls in the office bathrooms. Whenever someone pulls on the toilet paper, the Toity Tune plays "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," or "When the Saints Go Marching In."

"It's fun for me, and the other people in the office have encouraged me to keep changing the tunes," says Ritch. "No matter how many times the people in our office hear the Toity Tunes, they always start smiling. The only problem," he confides, "is that I've been told by guests who use the bathroom that when they unexpectedly hear 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' they feel they ought to stand and salute!"
If you're imagining the horror of Toity Tunes in your own workplace right now, you're probably not alone.

And now, brace yourself for the worst news.

You can still buy this product.

Now it's just called Singing Toilet Paper, and it's still produced by McManus Associates and available on Amazon. Its Amazon sales rank in "Home & Kitchen" is 149,419. I don't know how many items are available in "Home & Kitchen," but if it's more than 149,419, then I'm saddened down to the core of my soul.

The product gets a two-star (out of five) review from Amazon customers. Most of the complaints center around the claim that the product simply doesn't work. Here's what some of them say:

  • "I received one for a gift and it did not have two pieces of plastic nor did it work at all!"
  • "You might as well drop it in the toilet and flush. A waste of money. Right out of the package it did not work!"
  • "very cheaply made.....seldom works, and when it does you can barely hear it.....complete waste of money!!!! Save yourself the aggravation"
  • "The product is poorly made, does not work as indicated and annoyingly plays when it is not in the toilet roll. Only one place for this gadget, the garbage bin. Good and possibly concept in theory."
  • RUNNER-UP FOR BEST REVIEW: "The product very bad. I don"t like it. Never singing. It product is very bad. I don't like is bad"
  • BEST REVIEW, HANDS DOWN: "I Paid for, but never recieved this product. I don't use this in the bathroom. I wedge in in the bars of my canaies' cage and they make it sing. I did recieve the toilet paper spool that produces music, it was ok."

And with that, we should probably all go to bed. Sweet dreams.

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